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What is the NFT Metaverse Connection, and How Your Company Can Get a Piece of the Action

What is the NFT Metaverse Connection, and How Your Company Can Get a Piece of the Action

The Non-Fungible Token (NFT) industry can be traced back to the early days of the internet. The first NFTs were digital collectibles created on forums and message boards. These tokens were simply images or text used to represent a unique asset.

However, it wasn't until the development of blockchain technology that NFTs really began to take off. Blockchain provided a way to securely and permanently store data on a decentralized ledger. This made NFTs much more secure and trustworthy than traditional digital collectibles.

Since then, the NFT industry has exploded in popularity. Millions of dollars worth of NFTs have been sold, and the market is only getting bigger. With the help of blockchain, the NFT industry is revolutionizing the way we think about digital ownership.

This article discusses NFTs, including where they came from, important milestones, and what to expect in the future.

The Origin of NFTs

The first-ever known non-fungible token (NFT) was created in 2014 by Kevin McCoy and Anil Dash. It was called Quantum and consisted of a video clip of digital art created by McCoy’s wife, Jennifer. Originally, the technology was called “monetized graphics,” and Quantum was registered on the Namecoin blockchain and sold to Dash for $4. Today, it’s on sale for $7M.

In October of 2015, three months after the launch of the Ethereum blockchain, the first NFT project, Ehteria, was launched and demonstrated at DEVCON 1 in London. Most of the 457 NFTs went unsold for more than five years until March 13, 2021, as interest in NFTs was renewed. These remaining pieces sold out in 24 hours for a total of $1.4M. At the time of their launch in 2015, their cost was only $0.43 each.

Increased public awareness began in 2017 when an online game CryptoKitties monetized cat NFTs. During 2020, the value of the NFT market exploded, tripling to $250M. During the first quarter of 2021, more than $200M was spent on NFTs.

Or Was the Origin in 2012?

There is another origin story out there on NFTs worth discussing, known as Colored Coins. Colored Coins, created in 2012-2013, are made of small bitcoin denominations–known as a single satoshi–which can be used to represent a multitude of assets and have multiple uses, including:

  • Coupons
  • Property
  • Issue shares of a company
  • Ability to issue your own cryptocurrency
  • Digital collectibles
  • Access tokens

Unfortunately, the whole Colored Coin system carries several flaws. But, they played a significant role in laying the groundwork for NFTs. You can learn more about them here in the “Overview of Colored Coins.” 

Counterpoint: “Counterparty”

Another early consideration for the creation of NFTs is Counterparty. Counterparty is a peer-to-peer financial platform and distributed, open-source Internet protocol built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. It allowed asset creation and even included a trading card game and meme trading, where Rare Pepes originated.

Rare Pepes

In October 2016, “rare pepes” were issued along the Counterparty platform. A rare pepe is a meme featuring a frog character that has developed an intense fanbase. Besides being incredibly quirky, the uniqueness of these images makes them such desirable NFTs. 

How the NFT space has evolved

In simple terms, an NFT is a unit of data stored on a variety of digital ledgers called a blockchain, which can be sold and traded. But, what started as a simple video clip has evolved into many use cases across various industries. But, perhaps none is more compelling than the art industry.

The History of NFT Art

Art is perhaps the most common way to use NFTs, as auctions from high-profile NFTs have made the biggest splash in public attention. Currently, the most expensive NFT ever sold was at an auction price of $91.8M–work by artist Pak, entitled The Merge.

The merge

The Merge is both a single piece of artwork and a series of artworks. When it launched, buyers could purchase an NFT, called a mass, for a set amount of money ($575). However, for buyers who purchased more than one mass, instead of receiving another NFT, their current mass actually increased in size. The price of a mass NFT grew throughout the sale, and buyers who bought a lot of mass were rewarded with free mass. 

It sounds a little confusing, but if you can picture a tiny ball of mercury as one mass, then add other tiny balls of mercury to it, you can see how each comes together to get bigger and bigger. That’s what The Merge is and was before the sale was brought to a close. Now, even though the launch is over, buyers and traders can still sell or trade their NFTs to grow their mass bigger, making their NFT more valuable. 

In the end, more than 28,000 buyers spent over $91M on what has been one of the most compelling NFT art concepts to date.

Everydays: The first 5000 days

The second most expensive (at $69M) was a piece of artwork by Michael Winkelmann–known as Beeple–called Everydays: the First 5000 Days.

Beeple is a graphic designer and motion artist from South Carolina who is well-renowned in the digital art world. However, his rise to fame reached a new height with his NFT collage created from 5,000 images created daily for 13 years. The images were put together and formed one NFT unit that sold for almost $70M making it the third-most-expensive piece of art ever sold.

CryptoPunks

Perhaps, the most well-known NFT digital art pieces are the collection of CryptoPunks, which is credited with starting the NFT craze of 2021.  

CryptoPunks is a series of 10,000 unique collectible characters stored on the Ethereum blockchain. Each character is created using an algorithm and no two are identical. The images are 24x24 pixels and feature some combination of guys, girls, apes, zombies, and aliens. While some of the images share attributes, the rarest ones feature the fewest attributes. For example, on the current marketplace, CryptoPunk 5822 is on sale by the owner for $34.89M. It features one attribute–a bandana–which is only shared by 481 punks. 

Perhaps the wildest part of CryptoPunks is that initially, they were all free. One simply had to claim them. Now they sell for hundreds of thousands to multi-millions of dollars.

CryptoKitties

In the 90s, we had Tomagotchi–a handheld digital pet that you could feed, love, and–if neglected–kill. In the 2020s, we have CryptoKitties! CryptoKitties are digitally created breedable and collectible cats. Each is one-of-a-kind and cannot be replicated, taken away, or destroyed.

It turns out that breeding digital pets is big business for at least a short period of time. While CryptoKitties was the first widely recognized blockchain game and featured astronomical growth, the popularity was short-lived. In fact, it reached its peak on December 10th, 2017. But, by the beginning of 2018, the game’s popularity fell by 90% of users. However, for those that were fortunate during that short time. One CryptoKitty fetched $1.3M, another $566,000, and the third most expensive CryptoKitty was sold for $107,000.

Bored Ape Yatch Club

Similar to CryptoPunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is a collection of 10,000 unique, algorithm-created images. Except instead of aliens, zombies, and humans, BAYC features images of–you guessed it–apes. In March of 2022, sales of BAYC made up more than a third of total NFT sales. In January of 2022, BAYC surpassed $1B in total sales.

Who Can Create & Purchase NFTs?

The easy answer is that anyone can create or purchase NFTs. Some companies help guide you through the process of creation, connecting your content through blockchain, and getting the proper paperwork done to develop your own NFTs. Purchasing is also as easy as connecting with an online marketplace and working with vendors to purchase or acquire the NFTs you want.

You can launch your NFT collection in seconds with Mantial. We assist everyone, from entrepreneurs to celebrities and large companies throughout the whole process of conception, sales, and management of NFT collections.

In Conclusion

The future is wide-open for the NFT industry. As it becomes more and more popular, creators and even NFT experts are still exploring the possibilities of this technology and how it collides with our everyday lives. While the exact future of NFTs is uncertain, the market is expected to continue growing, and NFTs worth millions of dollars today could be worth billions in the future. 

And, when money like that is involved, everyone will want a piece of the action.

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The Walking Dead

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Rick’s NFT

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The Walking Dead

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Michonne’s NFT

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Non-fungible tokens are an essential building block for metaverses because they enable users to represent their ownership over specific assets in these digital worlds. In other words, NFTs allow users to prove their ownership over particular items in a decentralized way. 

Not only that, but the NFT Metaverse connection also presents a massive prospect: creating and owning digital land in the Metaverse. Some projects focus on providing users with the ability to create digital art pieces, while others provide tools that enable users to create unique land in their respective virtual worlds.

A significant number of projects are currently developing their respective metaverses, including Decentraland, Cryptovoxels, and The Sandbox. 

More on the Metaverse: It's Closer Than You Think!

The Metaverse is the clear next step in human interaction.

Think of the Metaverse as a 3D model of the internet. It's a place parallel to the physical world—where you spend your digital days interacting with your social circles, via avatars, in elaborately designed environments. Soon, this concept will be our everyday reality.

It may sound like far-out science fiction, but the concept isn't new.

Remember Second Life? The Sims? Or even The Matrix? These are all different versions of what we're talking about: a non-physical space that allows people to gather together and interact. But these old examples can't compare to what's coming next: it'll be fully immersive and interactive, and it won't just be a game or an alternative world—it'll be our digital lives.

In short, the Metaverse is going to change everything you think you know about daily life online.

So what does this mean for you? It means that soon, instead of interacting with your friends through texts or calls, you might find yourself hanging out with them in the Metaverse on any given day—and when we say "hanging out," we mean actually doing things together like playing video games or watching movies. The possibilities seem endless!

But When Did We Get Here?

The first time someone talked about the Metaverse was in Neal Stephenson's novel Snow Crash in 1992. In his book, Stephenson presented an idea that the internet would become its own virtual world where everyone could interact in real-time with each other. 

He also described how corporations would use this new world as a marketing tool to sell their products and services.

Now we're closer than ever to making Stephenson's vision come true because of advances in technology like Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Voice User Interfaces (VUI), and Machine Learning (ML).

Why NFTs Play a Central Role in the Metaverse Discussion

The Metaverse NFT interplay is certainly a central highlight for anyone following the blockchain space. Put another way, if you're talking about the Metaverse, it's almost impossible not to also talk about NFTs.

NFTs have become a very hot topic lately, and it's no wonder why! 

Their impact on the Metaverse is tremendous, as they are set to play a paramount role in the digital economy of the future.

The NFT metaverse connection presents many new and promising opportunities for investors, hobbyists, and enterprises of all sizes, which will help shape NFT usage and adoption in the long term.

Suffice to say, we are currently in the midst of a paradigm shift in how we interact with the internet. The web, as we know it, is being replaced by a more immersive, virtual world—and we're standing at the gates!

Metaverse's Most Popular Emerging and Future Use Cases

The concept of the Metaverse has already made its way into the business world, capturing the imagination of leaders in the field of innovative technologies. Virtual games, education, ecommerce, social projects, fashion, and even the real estate market are all incorporating metaverse technology.

As a result of quarantine measures throughout much of the world over the last couple of years, many companies have begun to look at how they can use the Metaverse to their advantage. 

Not only can they continue to conduct business in a virtual setting with access to safe, stable meeting spaces and collaboration tools, but they can also use virtual platforms to hold events and conferences where their employees can interact with one another more closely. 

Technological innovation is often born out of necessity. It's no surprise that we're seeing so much development in this space right now—and that we'll likely see even more as we move forward.

The Metaverse's wide range of potential applications means that it will soon be commonplace in many different fields. Let's take a brief peek at six of the most prevalent emerging and future use cases of the Metaverse.

1. Enhanced Gaming 

The gaming industry is often regarded as one of the most significant investors and promoters of metaverse technology. Metaverse tech was first used in computer games, which is understandable given that it allows players to communicate with other players in a single virtual interconnected environment.

Games today are a full-fledged social environment in which users may communicate with one another; this sets metaverse games apart from ordinary VR games.

And because the capacity to play and generate cryptocurrency is the distinguishing economic component of metaverse gaming, it may now provide both mental and material joy.

As a result of the Metaverse architecture's interoperability, NFT assets can be transferred between games and remain permanently owned.

Metaverse Enhanced Gaming

2. Digital Workplace Environments

Traditional business procedures are undergoing substantial modifications due to the growing use of metaverse tech. Projects currently being implemented will allow for improved remote work in virtual space. 

Coworking spaces will soon be able to communicate and work effectively together through VR devices, rendering the traditional office obsolete soon.

Many businesses are already putting up virtual business infrastructure. Nike, YouTube, McDonald's, Intel, and The Walt Disney Company are among the billion-dollar virtual office enterprises, as are modest but ambitious startups like Inworld AI, Gravity Sketch, and Upland.

3. Virtual Learning Labs

The covid-19 pandemic has driven educational centers worldwide to switch to digital communication. As a result, video conferencing solutions have grown in popularity for remote work, online classes, and other learn-from-home scenarios. 

However, because the interaction is confined to real-time voice and video, these platforms fail to deliver a compelling, engaging experience.

Metaverse tech addresses these restrictions by providing a more engaging experience for users with its graphically rich virtual worlds, 3D avatars, and immersive meetings. 

The Metaverse allows us to move around a virtual environment with life-like participants' avatars rather than merely viewing them on a computer screen and conversing through microphones.

4. Tourism & the Metaverse

Virtual tourism is one of the most forward-thinking uses of the Metaverse. Thanks to technology, you can travel in virtual space, so you don't have to visit the places you fantasize about physically. 

The creation of an immersive digital environment integrating virtual and augmented reality, according to experts, will be a breakthrough in the area of virtual tourism. In fact, these vast digital terrains featuring hyper-realistic experiences could become what replaces traditional tourism altogether.

We've already seen the beginnings of 360-degree virtual tours. With the development of metaverse technology, you will be able to not only watch a video tour recorded by a guide, but also be present in the tourist attraction of your choice. Furthermore, you can go to this location with your family and friends, making your experience even more realistic. 

Just imagine yourself among the works of Van Gogh or Picasso in a metaverse exhibition, and you'll perceive how the Metaverse might fundamentally alter the nature of tourist destinations everywhere.

5. Next-level of Social Media

Mark Zuckerberg and the creators of Meta platforms recognize that technology can do much more than just connect people through social media. Their vision for adopting Metaverse tech is to create a three-dimensional world that isn't confined to observing people on computer or smartphone screens and just listening to them talk.

A Metaverse-based platform delivers a better, more fully-immersive experience for social media audiences by imbuing a sense of reality among them. Integrating VR and AR allows for a more lifelike digital experience that goes beyond the capabilities of the current social media world.

6. The Future of Fashion

As one of the most trend-savvy sectors of the economy, the fashion industry is actively developing new styles tied to metaverse technology.

After all, fashion isn't just about what you wear. It's about how you feel, the emotions you want to convey, and impacting your space. And our favorite fashion houses are hearing that loud and clear—they're ready to take fashion into the future!

Companies like Gucci are already on board with virtual fashion; they've created "Metaverse design" categories on sites like Roblox, where users can purchase exclusive items from the brands they love.

A digital Gucci purse was recently sold for $4,000 on the site, indicating that the virtual fashion business is already becoming a significant source of profit for the market's leading participants.

Given the growing popularity of NFTs, the day will soon come when the exclusive virtual collections of all prominent fashion companies will be sold for millions of dollars on multiple fashion websites and virtual boutiques. We can't wait to discover what comes next!

7. NFT Real Estate

One of the Metaverse's defining characteristics is its capacity to give a client the ultimate VR experience. It's unsurprising that in a lucrative market niche like metaverse property sales, this feature can be used to maximize the display of available structures for sale/rent.

Estate agents save time by not having to travel to the site, while clients save time by not having to examine dozens of houses, apartments, workplaces, or shops. 

Instead, interested buyers will be able to take a metaverse real estate tour that will be nearly identical to the experience of being on the premises. Any client will be able to do a real-time analysis of all available alternatives.

Additionally, a virtual tour can be customized to suit individual preferences. Each client's design, scale, and soundtrack can be customized. Further, AR in the form of popups will enhance the informative and useful nature of a metaverse virtual real estate site visit.

Virtual real estate sales in the four major metaverses (Sandbox, Decentraland, Cryptovoxels, and Somnium) topped $500 million last year, and there is every potential they will surpass $1 billion this year. Industry research analysts at Brandessence forecast that the market would increase at a 31% annual rate between 2022 and 2028.

Approximately 100 Fantasy Islands are currently under development in the Sandbox metaverse. They feature villas equipped with boats and jet skis. Ninety islands were auctioned, with each island fetching an average of $15,000. Some were priced at $100,000. Meanwhile, Republic Realm has paid an all-time high of $4.3 million for virtual land.

NFT Real Estate

8. NFT Marketplaces

The rise of NFTs has been one of the most important developments within the digital space in recent years. As we advance further into a world where "virtual" reality is becoming more and more tangible, we must understand precisely how NFTs fit into this picture—and how they can change our lives for the better.

Companies can utilize the Metaverse to create more engaging and realistic NFT markets where users can engage with other users, view desired NFTs, and thus make better purchasing decisions. 

One famous example of this is how NFT tech is being used to enhance the next generation of online games on the Metaverse. 

Because the Metaverse provides a shared virtual arena, it has been supporting new NFT or blockchain games in which players earn in-game valuables and trade them with other users. 

9. Immersive Ecommerce

Technology opens up new options for organizations, allowing them to promote their services and goods more effectively. With the growing use of the Metaverse, businesses are moving away from the two-dimensional surface of e-commerce and into life-like virtualized spaces for a more immersive experience.

E-commerce business owners, for example, can connect with merchants in a virtual area and conduct trade formalities such as product inspection, concluding a contract, negotiating, and so on. Furthermore, rather than just relying on digital marketing strategies, companies may significantly influence customers by creating interactive and realistic marketing content.

Metaverse technology and numerous new business concepts support the production, ownership, and trading of digital assets and tokenized copies of real-world assets to empower cryptos and NFTs.

Facts & Stats: Big Companies Already Investing in the MV

According to JPMorgan, global metaverse revenue streams in areas like live events, ads, social commerce, and hardware are expected to reach over $1 trillion, while Bloomberg estimates $800 billion. The market for game developers and gaming hardware alone might be worth more than $400 billion.

Brands in gaming and entertainment, as well as some fashion labels, are pioneering the way for brands wanting to navigate the Metaverse. Meanwhile, Google has invested about $40 million in a private equity fund for all metaverse initiatives, while Walmart has submitted dozens of metaverse trademark applications since December 2021. And major corporations such as Nike, Meta, and Disney are establishing their own metaverse business lines.

There are already one billion active AR users globally, which is expected to double by 2024. Furthermore, 56% of influencers report they are currently involved in the Metaverse. 

Who Says NFTs Are Just for the Big Shots?

At first glimpse, it might appear like NFTs are just for the big guys and gals—but that's not the case!

Sure, major brands—even some of our favorite fast-food chains like Taco Bell and Pizza Hut—are getting into the action of dropping digital collectibles as NFTs. But this doesn't imply that you have to be a giant in order to capitalize on this trend.

With the correct approach and a little bit of creativity, NFTs can be used by any company to launch a new collection as a marketing tool or to strengthen its fan base.

By providing gated content to NFT holders, or gated rewards for holding a certain number of NFTs, companies can directly engage their fan base in a way that's more endearing and unpretentious than the typical social media campaign. This will not only help brands build better relationships with fans but also create a solid revenue stream out of their collections in the process.

Step Into the Metaverse with Mantial—Launch Your Own NFT Collection Today and Join the Future

Welcome to Mantial, where we've made NFTs accessible to everyone. With our end-to-end solution, you can get started selling your NFTs on the blockchain in minutes.

We know that you don't want to spend hours learning how to use crypto wallets and blockchains and then setting up your own eCommerce solution — so we've done all the hard work for you! 

Our team has built a cloud-based infrastructure, compatible with all metaverses, that's optimized for both speed and security, and it's all ready for you to use.

How does it work? Crazy simple.

Step 1. Design - Work out your collection. What will it include? Will you have a series of images or an animated piece? How many items in total? What's the theme of the collection?

Step 2. Upload - Upload the assets and fill in the metadata for each one, including title, description, artist name, and more.

Step 3. Set up - Configure your project: beneficiaries, prices, pre-sale whitelist (who can buy early), airdrops (who gets free samples of what), and more.

Step 4. Launch - Click a button, and boom, you're live! It's that easy! Everything happens on-chain, so you're in control of your project from start to finish.

It's as effortless as counting to ten! After these few super easy steps, your NFT collection is live worldwide—woohoo!

About Mantial: Our Why

Mantial is an NFT ecosystem-building web3 startup. We equip creators and brands with the tools they need to jump-start engagement and boost community building. 

When we observed how difficult it was to create successful NFT drops largely due to lack of on-deck resources and savvy developers, difficulty managing an NFT collection, market ambiguity, and other key factors, we knew there was a better way.

Mantial was founded with the goal of becoming your all-in-one solution for custom NFT collection creation and management. We built a robust and reliable platform that allows you to start and manage NFT collections 1000 times faster, requiring zero code.

Product features include:

  • dedicated NFT ERC-721 smart contract
  • integration to leading marketplaces
  • automatic payment splitting controls
  • discord bot (grants unique roles to holders)
  • assets hosting
  • rarity tools
  • pre-sales, promos, airdrops assist
  • lifetime stats management dashboard
  • dedicated minting page
  • 1:1 client support
  • and more!

We're excited to give every digital creator who wants to share their work with the world unbridled access to the NFT buyer ecosystem. Want to discover how we can help you get started on your project and knock it out of the park? 

Simply swing by our help desk or book a 20-minute meeting on our calendar today. 

When you book an appointment, we'll connect with you at the scheduled time and figure out what's holding you back from getting started—as well as how we can help you get over that hurdle and make your first move toward completing your project. We can't wait to chat!